How To Lay Pavers Like A Professional

There are many ways that you can dress up your landscape with hardscaping. One of these ways is to use pavers to create patios, walkways, and more. Pavers are easy to lay and look very professional.

how to lay pavers

You can also choose any type of paver you want and make the process as complicated or as easy s you want. You can lay them in the dirt or create layers to secure the pavers and deter weeds and insects.

A Complete Tutorial On How To Install Pavers Like A PRO

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This tutorial will take you through the steps of creating a walkway and wrap-around for your porch with pavers. The final result is a gorgeous paved walkway that will impress anyone who visits your home. 

For this tutorial we used 6″ x 9″ and 6″ x 6″ pavers but you can use any type of pavers you want as long as you calculate the depth of them. Because you need to add in gravel and sand which takes up some of the space. 

What Are Pavers?

This is a question you may come across a lot. That’s because when people think of pavers, they sometimes thing of bricks, sometimes think of stepping stones, and sometimes think of large concrete blocks. 

But the truth is that the term paver can be used for brick, tile, concrete, or stone. It can be used for anything that you lay in a pattern. But the difference in most, say tile, and pavers is that pavers are laid outside.

This means that they need to be weatherproof, sturdy, and withstand constant foot traffic. But the process of creating this paved area isn’t as difficult as contractors make it out to be. Anyone can learn how to lay pavers. 

Picking Your Pattern

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This is less of a step and more of a pre-step. Because you need to do it before you actually begin your project. Buying materials and picking out paving patterns is an important part of the project and is absolutely necessary.

You can get inspired by paving projects online or look at brick bonds to find the right pattern for you. This is actually the best part of the project because you get to put your creativity and racing mind to good use. 

Step by Step tutorial of how to lay pavers:

Step 1: Mark Your Area

Step 1: Mark Your AreaView in gallery

The first thing that you want to do is mark your area. You can make the area any size that you want. But before you start digging, it’s important to know how much materials you need so mark out where you want the pavers to be.

For a standard walkway, 36-inches is good, but you can go up to 48-inches for a more comfortable walkway. Just don’t go much less than 32-inches or visitors won’t feel comfortable walking, especially with children beside them. 

Step 2: Break The Roots

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It’s a good idea to sort of till the area fairly well. Start at the edge and use a tiller or even a hoe to get started. This is to make shoveling the dirt out easier as well as help you find any roots or rocks that need to be removed. 

After you till the land, you need to break the roots. You can use a hoe again or a pickaxe. Anything that can break any roots standing in the way. Cut the roots down a little further than you need to for the best results. 

Step 3: Dig It Out

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Now it’s time to dig out. A good depth is about nine inches, but you can go a little less or a little more. Just enough for six inches of gravel as well as the depth of your pavers. So nine inches for three-inch pavers. 

Then start digging out. Getting everything level isn’t possible at this point. You just want to get the majority of the dirt out wheelbarrowed away. Find a safe way to dispose of or disperse the dirt somewhere no one will be walking. 

Step 4: Tamp The Dirt

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Tamping is the process of compacting the dirt to make it safe and secure. You can get a tamping tool or come up with your own solution. But a hand tamper is cheap and effective. So it’s a good idea to have one.

After you find your tool, just tamp down the dirt well. Don’t leave any loose areas or it could be dangerous when it shifts. It also won’t let the pavers lay flat and will make it difficult to slope the gravel. 

Step 5: Square It Off

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It’s important that the area is square. So after you have everything dug out, use a square, measuring tape, and level to ensure that the area you are laying the pavers in is square, or else you will cause more problems later. 

A good technique involves staking down a string and measuring each string to make sure each end is the same. Then, use a square to make sure that each corner is at a right angle. Pavers need to have right angles. 

Step 6: Add Gravel And Slope

Step 6: Add Gravel And SlopeView in gallery

This is an important step that some people tend to skip. But both adding gravel and sloping it is important. So add crushed stone, limestone, or pea gravel to the area until you have about six inches or a little more of gravel.

Then, you can start sloping it. There needs to be at least 1% of a slope or one inch every ten feet, preferably a little more. Some people do one inch every four feet. Tamp the gravel down after you slope the gravel away from the house. 

Step 7: Add Sand

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Adding sand is also important because the pavers will sink down into it. So add the sand about an inch or less thick. You can add pipes or small boards in the sand to help you smooth it out and level it.

Any type of sand will do but softer sand is usually better. Masonry sand is ideal if you can find it and afford it. Otherwise, playground sand is fine. Just any sand that will smooth out nicely when you scrape it down.

Step 8: Start Adding Pavers

Step 8: Start Adding PaversView in gallery

Now it’s time for the fun part. Add your full pavers down in the sand. This is similar to tile. You will use primarily full pavers unless trying out one of the many paver patterns which mimic brick bonds. So choose your pattern early on.

Then, add pavers starting in one corner and working your way in a pattern. You can do this any way that you want since this isn’t tile that can’t be walked on while you are working. A little weight won’t hurt the pavers. 

Step 9: Cut Pavers

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There may be some areas where the pavers need cut. This will be around the corns of objects and such. For this, you will need to find the cutting tools that work for your pavers. Not all pavers are the same. 

As long as the pavers are cut straight, then there shouldn’t be any problems later on. You can even try scoring and breaking the pavers if they are the right kind. Whatever works for you will work for the pavers. 

Step 10: Tamp It All

Step 10: Tamp It AllView in gallery

After all the pavers are laid, even the cut ones, you need to tamp the pavers down. Tamping the pavers will prevent accidents and keep things secure, making the paved walkway last much longer than it would without tamping.

You can start at one corner and tamp away. It may not shift at all, but if it doesn’t then that’s a good thing. You don’t need to press down hard enough to break the pavers, just enough to make sure it won’t shift later. 

Step 11: Add Grout

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For the grout for pavers, something like polymeric sand is your best bet. This sand is made for use as grout in pavers and more. If you can find it then it will be worth it. All you have to do is add it and smooth it out.

Then, you can wet the pavers down and wash the excess away. You may need to let the sand set for a while. Just read the bag and you can find out how you need to go about the process of grouting the pavers. 

Enjoy Your Work!

Finally! You’re done! After you get that grout done, you can sit back and enjoy your work. If you have just built a patio, you can sit back on your patio furniture and enjoy your work firsthand. If you have a walkway, invite someone over.

No matter what you built, you can enjoy it immediately. You can even get creative, building retaining walls on either side of the walkway, creating a feature area that you pave around, or lining the area with trees. 

There are so many possibilities and the only limit is your creativity and the sky. So go ahead and start with pavers and see where it takes you. You may find you have more creativity in you than you ever thought possible. 

Project from hawke2005.